Shoulder Rests

Shoulder Rests

If you want to get strong opinions out of violinists/violists/fiddlers, talk about shoulder rests.  Some believe you don't need them, some swear by only one brand, some make their own at home.   The purpose of a shoulder rest is to help support the violin which helps take some of the strain off of the left [...]

West Philly Square Dance

The West Philly Square Dance happens monthly on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.  Live old-time music, all dances are called, and everyone is welcome.  My friends Mark Kilianski and Amy Alvey of Hoot and Holler were the band this past Friday along with dance caller Donna Hunt, so I decided to do a [...]

Folk Dance in Budapest

"Táncház, which translates as "dance house" is "a "casual" Hungarian folk dance event (as opposed to stage performances). It is an aspect of the Hungarian roots revival of traditional culture which began in the early 1970s, and remains an active part of the national culture across the country, especially in cities like Budapest. The term is derived from a [...]

Joe Dawson, Master Fiddler from Bloomington, Indiana

Joe Dawson, Master Fiddler from Bloomington, Indiana

  I've been meaning for a long time to write a post about my favorite fiddle player.  Joe Dawson was a master fiddler, carpenter, farmer, and a man of numerous other talents.  Joe's repertoire of old-time fiddle tunes is totally unique, 100% Indiana and he taught them to a lucky circle of people who visited him [...]

Pótkulcs, 1067 Budapest, Csengery utca 65b, Hungary

Pótkulcs, 1067 Budapest, Csengery utca 65b, Hungary

If you love folk music, the question is not "Should I go to Budapest?" but rather "Have I checked the airfares today?".   I was introduced to Hungarian folk music through folklorist friend David Stanley while visiting him in Budapest.  On any night of the week there is an amazing number of concerts and events [...]

Upland Tasting Room, 4842 N College Ave, Indianapolis, IN ‎ (317) 602-3931

Upland Tasting Room, 4842 N College Ave, Indianapolis, IN ‎ (317) 602-3931

The Upland Tasting Room, an extension of the brewery in Bloomington, IN, serves excellent beer, welcomes dogs, and best of all (besides the beer!) they support local acoustic/folk music.  There is a traditional Irish session every Sunday, 6-9:30 p.m., and most Fridays and Saturdays feature songwriters and bluegrass.  New Augusta Bluegrass Band  is a regular on [...]

Irish Session at Fergie’s Pub, Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA

Irish Session at Fergie’s Pub, Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA

I love Philadelphia, and when in Philly, I go to Fergie's Pub, 1214 Sansom St., on Saturday from 4-7 p.m. In the corner of the downstairs bar is the best traditional Irish music around. The mood at Fergie's is beyond cozy and the jigs, reels, and banter are fierce and energetic. Philadelphia has loads of fantastic Irish musicians [...]

Irish Session @ The Golden Ace Inn, 2533 E Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46201

Irish Session @ The Golden Ace Inn, 2533 E Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46201

The Golden Ace Inn, Indianapolis, IN  This eastside bar has been owned by the McGinley family since 1934.  The weekly Irish session, begun in 1999 by Doug Lammer, is hosted by Jim and Kate Smith and Jenny Thompson, and has been strongly supported by the McGinleys throughout the years.  A group of dedicated sessioneers ensure a [...]